Advertisement
1213 posts
Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions.
Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions. (Alex Wong / Getty Images)

Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions refused to tell Congress on Wednesday whether he had stepped aside from supervising the federal investigation into President Trump’s personal lawyer in New York, or say whether he had discussed the sensitive inquiry with the president or his aides.

Sessions, testifying before a Senate Appropriations subcommittee, rebuffed questions about the Justice Department’s investigation into Michael Cohen, the president’s longtime personal attorney and trusted fixer.

 Asked whether he had discussed the Cohen investigation with Trump or White House staff members, Sessions started to answer, “I don’t think in any significant…” but then said he shouldn’t reveal his conversations with the president.

Advertisement

The nation’s acting consumer financial watchdog delivered some good news and lobbying advice this week to the bankers he regulates: He would like to cut off public access to a database of consumer complaints and suggested the industry donate to lawmakers to convince them to weaken his agency’s authority.

Advertisement
White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders
White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders (AFP/Getty Images)

The United States has slipped again among countries in an annual ranking of freedom of the press, according to a study that says a “climate of hatred” is growing worldwide toward the news media.

Citing the Trump administration among other nations’ governments, the international advocacy group Reporters Without Borders said on Wednesday, “More and more democratically elected leaders no longer see the media as part of democracy’s essential underpinning, but as an adversary to which they openly display their aversion.”

The United States fell to 45th place from 43rd last year, out of 180 countries that the reporters’ organization ranks. Norway is in first place for the second consecutive year, and North Korea is last, as it has been for years.

Judging by its first week of sales, James Comey's book is on track to become the biggest political hit of 2018.

President Trump speaks at a news conference Tuesday with French President Emmanuel Macron at the White House
President Trump speaks at a news conference Tuesday with French President Emmanuel Macron at the White House (Shawn Thew / EPA/Shutterstock)

President Trump suggested Tuesday that he was nudging aside Dr. Ronny Jackson, his nominee to head the Veterans Affairs Department, after senators cancelled his nomination hearing to investigate allegations of inappropriate behavior.

“I told Admiral Jackson just a little while ago … I said, ‘What do you need this for?’” Trump said during a news conference with French President Emmanuel Macron.

The decision on whether to continue was up to Jackson, the chief White House physician, Trump said. But, he added, “If I were him, the fact is, I wouldn’t do it.”

Advertisement
President Trump's reflection is seen in First Lady Melania Trump's sunglasses.
President Trump's reflection is seen in First Lady Melania Trump's sunglasses. (Pablo Martinez Monsivais / Associated Press)

She is either complicit in her husband's worst instincts or a victim of them, either struggling in an anachronistic job or confidently doing precisely what she wants to do with it. Fifteen months after she became first lady, Melania Trump remains a mystery.

In the span of several days ending Tuesday, Melania Trump will have been thrust into a more visible public role than perhaps at any other time in her husband's presidency. It comes after a lengthy period of relative invisibility that has not only confounded White House tradition but also limited her potential political benefit to a troubled administration.

After hosting the Japanese prime minister and his wife at Trump's Mar-a-Lago compound in Florida last week, Melania Trump attended the Saturday funeral of former First Lady Barbara Bush in Houston; the president stayed away. Before the service she smiled and chatted with President Obama, whom her husband has scorned for years, and, again smiling, joined in a formal picture with all of the former presidents and first ladies who attended the funeral.

With critical political deadlines fast approaching, the Trump administration is racing to strike a deal on a revamped North American Free Trade Agreement by early May — with an eye toward forcing a congressional vote on a new pact by the end of the year.

  • White House
  • Middle East
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javed Zarif speaks during a press conference in Baghdad, Iraq on Sept. 8, 2013.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javed Zarif speaks during a press conference in Baghdad, Iraq on Sept. 8, 2013. (Associated Press)

Iran’s foreign minister said in an interview aired Sunday that if President Trump pulls out of a landmark nuclear accord, Tehran might respond by re-launching and intensifying its nuclear program.

Speaking on CBS’ “Face the Nation,” Mohammad Javed Zarif said Iran would weigh its options if Trump makes good next month on repeated threats to withdraw the United States from the deal and reimpose sanctions against Tehran.

Iran’s options, Zarif said, would include “resuming at much greater speed our nuclear activities.”

Advertisement
  • White House
  • Russia

President Trump vowed Saturday that his personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, will not “flip” and cooperate against him in the special counsel investigation into his campaign’s connections to Russia and attacked a New York Times story as part of a “witch hunt” against him.

In several morning tweets, the president also lashed out at the Times over its coverage of the investigation. He slammed Maggie Haberman, the lead reporter on a new story, and called a former aide quoted in the story a “drunk/drugged up loser.”

A federal judge postponed a ruling on a request by President Trump and his personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, who is now the subject of a federal investigation, for a 90-day delay of a lawsuit filed against them by porn star Stormy Daniels.